The 2015 Detroit Auto Show press days are over, and the bars full of free coffee and booze scattered around Cobo Hall have been packed away. Here are the people of the event who caught my eye. Before the show proper you get press previews, which are like exactly like the press unveilings of the show, only in remote locations. Here Alfonso Albaisa explains why the sides of the Q60 concept look all wavy and swoopy for no reason. Alfonso stands for an interview with a young writer. Jaguar executive Andy Goss is dwarfed by an image of the Queen. A reporter quitely takes notes in the back on production capacity at JLR. One businessman pontificates to another early on the first day, before Nissan took the cover off the Titan. A reporter looks restless beside a bored cameraman waiting for the press conference to start. A video autojourno sets up a one-man show with his phone. A Japanese TV cameraman gets set up. As do his colleagues. A somewhat severe woman hired by Nissan directs … [Read more...] about People Of The Detroit Auto Show
Motoring tv car of the year
A nocturama is the part of the zoo where they keep the small animals that only come out at night. The term is obscure, but evocative—so, an apt title for the audacious and disturbing new film by the French writer-director Bertrand Bonello (House Of Pleasures, Saint Laurent), the longer second part of which finds a group of mostly teenage terrorists hiding out in a windowless Paris department store after a spree of bombings and assassinations. We’ve seen them carry out these attacks over the movie’s mesmerizing first 50 minutes, sometimes replayed from multiple angles, though we are never exactly sure of their goal. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Bonello is a decadent movie poet of literal and emotional interiors with a uniquely cubist approach to both time and realism; his style is druggy and dreamlike because it’s so cornered, self-confined, self-refracting. In Nocturama, his radicalized night critters run free in the evacuated department store as he busts out … [Read more...] about is a mesmerizing, disturbing tour de force—and one of the best films of the year
TOKYO -- How would you fancy riding around in something that can go 30 miles on a charge and costs around $1? Super-compact electric vehicles have been on roads in Japan for a while, and more models are coming out as major automakers experiment with architecture and features. Some look like golf carts or even the gas-powered tricycle mopeds commonly used for pizza and other deliveries in densely populated Japanese cities. Single-seater Coms EVs made by Toyota Auto Body sell for around $7,400 in Japan and are used by farmers, cable TV technicians, milk delivery workers, and even Buddhist monks visiting parishioners. Related stories Nissan's awesome BladeGlider wows Tokyo Motor Show Honda Accord chosen as the 2014 Green Car of the Year Super-sick crushworthy cars: Measuring horsepower in millions Subsidized by the government, Coms have a top speed of 37.5 mph, and a range of about 31 miles on a full charge. They require a regular driver's license to operate. They come in … [Read more...] about Are super-compact EVs the ride of the future?
Editors' note: Be sure to catch the other stories in this package: on self-driving cars bristling with sensors, on real-world experiments with platoons of connected cars, and on smart transport grids. Google's self-driving car initiative is moving into a new phase: reality. Three years after first showing the world what it was up to -- rolling out a Toyota Prius with laser-scanning hardware awkwardly perched on the roof -- Google is moving its big idea out of the lab and into the real world. Consider recent developments: A spokesman confirmed to CNET that the company was in what were described as productive talks with automakers involving Google's self-driving technology. Separately, Google is reported to be crafting a partnership with auto supplier Continental. And there's even the possibility of Google-powered robo-taxis sometime in the future. 18 Cars and computers: A look at the future of autos (pictures) Where is this all leading? The answer, naturally, is … [Read more...] about How Google’s robo-cars mean the end of driving as we know it
For those who are perpetually frustrated by the tech industry's continued failure to live up to Hollywood-style depictions of the future, self-driving cars might seem about as likely as warp speed or time-traveling cyborgs. But unlike those other unfulfilled sci-fi promises, we have the technology necessary to make driverless cars a reality right now. In fact, fully automated vehicles are teetering on the edge of commercial viability. As researchers around the globe continue to tinker with autonomous driving software, they're also anticipating its potential impact. Handing the keys over to algorithms means our cars will, in effect, become an information technology. But unlike laptops and smartphones, connected cars will alter the world around us. Inching Toward Inevitability Aside from the very-much-in-beta fully automated vehicles (AVs) currently being road-tested by the likes of Google, technologies that allow cars to operate at least somewhat independently have been with us for … [Read more...] about Driverless Cars: When the Internet Takes the Wheel